Impact and Effect of Climate Change on Health

All of us are aware of the well-known saying “Health is Wealth”. If one is healthy, everything seems wonderful. On the other hand when one is unhealthy, nothing can please him unless he is healthy again. Thus, good health is extremely important.

However, climate change is posing to be a threat to human health. Due to increase in human activity, earth’s atmosphere is losing its natural balance. Burning of fossil fuels, large scale deforestation and increase in the number of industries has led to an increase in the amount of GHGs (green-house gases) in the atmosphere. The rate at which these gases are increasing is much higher than Earth’s capacity to absorb them. This is leading to an increase in the Earth’s average annual temperature by 1.5 degree Celsius to 4.5 degree Celsius; thus leading to the following health issues:
Climate Change on Health
1. Impact from Increased Temperature

Increase in temperature is leading to increase in heat waves. These waves can cause heat strokes and dehydration which are the most common causes of weather-related death. The elderly, the children and those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disorders are more susceptible to these illnesses as they have a lower capacity to cope with such a change in the climate.

2. Impact of Heat in Urban Areas

Urban areas will be facing worse conditions than rural areas. This is due to the development of “heat islands” in urban areas due to concrete constructions, pavements and tarred roads. This will lead to an increase in the demand for electricity which will in turn increase air pollution. Also, higher temperatures in cities would lead to an increase in ground-level ozone which will further aggravate the air pollution problem.

3. Impact of Extreme Situations

Increase in GHGs is causing increased heat waves in summer while at the same time is responsible for increased cold spells in winter. This has resulted into extreme climatic situations which can have the following impact:

- Reduction in the availability of fresh food and clean water

- Increase in intestinal and stomach illness

- Mental problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

- Increase in spread of malaria and other vector-borne diseases

Impact of Rising Sea-Level

Water expands as its temperature rises. Since the Earth’s temperature is on a rise, its sea-water level is also increasing simultaneously. The rising sea-level can cause damage to various important ecosystems such as coral reefs and wetlands. It can also lead to floods causing intense damage to human life and property. It can also cause saltwater intrusion into groundwater and other fresh water reserves, thus polluting these reserves and making them unfit for consumption.
Impact and Effect of Climate Change on Health

Potential threats due to climate change include-

-Death and injury due to natural calamities such as floods

-Contamination of water due to submerged waste dumps causing various water-borne diseases

-Increase in the infestation of vector-borne diseases such as malaria

-Spread of diseases or epidemics due to population displacement in huge numbers


Climate change can create a serious threat to one’s health and well-being. Hence, it is advisable to avoid these issues and reduce its impact by using the following methods:

-Use renewable sources of energy as much as possible

-Avoid using non-renewable sources of energy

-Applying for and using ehic cards (European Health Insurance Card) for future health security